Ed. Note: This was originally printed in 2011 but just came across my facebook last week, thanks to John for being kind enough to let us repost this great story here.
Mary Foote Henderson, circa 1923 (author’s collection).
The Gilded Age, from the 1870s until the 1910s, was a unique period in Washington’s history. The city attracted many nouveaux riches who were drawn by the fact that upper-class Washington society in those days was wide open to anyone with lots of money, a circumstance not found in other major Eastern cities. Of all the wealthy people who moved to Washington to exert power and influence in the Gilded Age, one of the most powerful and influential was a woman, Mary Foote Henderson (1846-1931), who turned her City Beautiful dreams into reality along upper 16th Street. (more…)
“The DC Community Heritage Project House History Workshop gives community historians, of any skill or knowledge level, an overview of the related resources at the Historical Society of Washington, DC, the DC Public Library Washingtoniana Division, the DC Archives, and other local repositories. Participants will learn how to research the history of their own home or any other historical property.(more…)
“I was counting money one night at the end of my shift at Meridian Pint, and came across a silver certificate. Not very unusual, I have found 20 or so over the years. Then I noticed that this particular bill had a bunch of signatures on both sides. After a little research, I discovered that this is a short snorter — a bill that was signed by members of a flight crew, often in the military. Given the date on the bill of 1935, it’s likely that this was from World War 2. Anyone out there have any suggestions for finding the origin of this particular bill?”
“Metro is showcasing photographs captured by Kevin Sutherland, the American University graduate student who was tragically killed aboard a Metrorail train on July 4, 2015, at the NoMa-Gallaudet Station starting today.
Sutherland was a talented photographer who enjoyed taking pictures of Washington, D.C. landmarks. He was traveling with his camera to the National Mall to capture Fourth of July fireworks when he became the victim of a horrific crime.
Working through Metro’s Art in Transit program, Sutherland’s family asked to display some of Kevin’s art, and Metro was pleased to provide the venue.”
Ninth Street downtown was one of the city’s liveliest entertainment zones in the early years of the 20th century, full of theaters like the Gayety Burlesque, which we’ve previously profiled, and a colorful array of exotic restaurants, bars, and diners. “Everything that ever happened in this city happened there. When you came to town you had to strut up and down Ninth Street or you hadn’t lived,” boxing promoter Goldie Ahearn later recalled. But by the World War II years, this had all begun to change. The theaters and restaurants were still there, but they tended toward the seedy. Many of their patrons were the city’s alienated loners, the gamblers and late-night drinkers, the soldiers and sailors at loose ends who sooner or later ended up causing some kind of trouble. “There are eight million stories in the naked city…” says the narrator of the classic 1948 film noir about New York City. In the case of Washington, this sad story, as told breathlessly by the city’s newspapers, is one of them.
Greek restaurants were once commonplace on 9th Street. Some, like the Athens Restaurant at 804 9th Street were prominent and long-lived, but others, including the small storefront at 719 9th Street, were less reputable. As a Greek coffee house in 1946 it was busted by the vice squad for illegal gambling. Four years later, reincarnated as the “Acropolis Club,” it was shut down again for the same reason. By the late 1950s, the joint had been renamed the Jo Del Grill (or Jo Del Tavern), and this is the place that George P. Kaldes purchased in 1957. Kaldes, a 33-year-old World War II Army veteran of Greek descent, had cashed in a life insurance policy and put up all of his personal savings to gain full ownership of the Jo Del, and in the months after doing so he had been proud that the little place was beginning to show a modest profit. (more…)
“Because all gave some, and some gave all. Celebrate the special connection that General Logan has to Memorial Day in Logan Circle – Monday, May 30, 1:00pm
Memorial Day is a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those who are at rest. It’s a day to be with the family and remember. We encourage our friends and neighbors to bring a blanket and picnic lunch for you and your family, including those with four legs, to this year’s annual Logan Circle Memorial Day Observance. Monday’s program, starting at 1:00pm, includes a wreath-laying ceremony with the Honorable Eric Fanning – Logan Circle neighbor and newly appointed Secretary of the Army, and live musical performances by the Washington Capitals’ Bob McDonald and the Brassivity Brass Quintet. Be a part of this special neighborhood celebration!”
“Commemorate Memorial Day with guided tours of the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, more commonly known as the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery. Located in Petworth and visited by President Abraham Lincoln, the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery is the first national cemetery (est. 1861) and also serves as the final resting place for John Logan, who formalized Memorial Day celebrations in 1868 and the namesake of Logan Circle.
President Lincoln’s Cottage will partner with the Armed Forces Retirement Home and Arlington National Cemetery for tours and a wreath laying ceremony at Logan’s mausoleum, which will highlight the history of the Soldiers’ Home Cemetery, notable people buried there, and the history of Memorial Day.
Does anyone know the story of the huge, empty, white stone building on the Old Soldier’s Home property at the corner of Rock Creek Church Road and Harewood? It faces the Soldier’s Home Cemetary and Rock Creek Cemetary. There is an old unused gate at the corner, and the building looks like it has been vacant for many years.”